Where Better Care is a Family Matter

August 2018 Newsletter

Join us for our 24th Annual EECC Olympics August 20th-29th where residents will be competing in Archery, Shot Put, Bowling, Ring Toss, and the 100-inch Dash! We have a lot of exciting things happening this month, so be sure to check out all the events below!

Elmhurst Extended Care Center

Don’t Ignore These 7 Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Elmhurst Extended Care Center has a certified memory care unit specializing in patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. If you or your loved one is exhibiting signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, give us a call or stop by today.

We all experience “senior moments” and even in our forties and fifties, we can be forgetful, confused, and a bit disoriented. We may be able to attribute it to getting older, hormonal changes, or imbalances in brain chemistry as we age. After all, isn’t this normal? How can we tell if these moments are typical, age-related changes or signs of Alzheimer’s? Forgetfulness is very common especially as we age, but it’s critical to recognize when mild confusion or memory loss may mean something much more serious.

Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s or dementia. The disease causes a slow decline in memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. Even today, scientists still continue to unravel the complex brain changes involved in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It seems likely the damage to the brain starts a decade or more before memory and other cognitive problems appear.

If memory problems are seriously affecting your daily life, they could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. While the number of symptoms you have and how strong they are vary, it’s important to identify the warning signs and ask yourself some tough questions.

1. Memory Loss

Do you easily forget information you just learned? Do you lose track of important dates, names, and events? Do you forget significant milestones even happened? Do you ask for the same information over and over, or repeat thoughts or questions to others often? Do you rely heavily on memory aids like post-it notes or reminders on your phone?

2. Trouble Following Directions

Maybe you have a “tried-and-true” recipe that you could cook in your sleep, but now you suddenly have trouble assembling it? Is it hard to concentrate on detailed tasks, or do you have trouble making plans and sticking to them? Tasks that require problem-solving and attention to detail might be especially difficult.

Another place you may notice an impact is in your financials — you may have trouble keeping track of bills, which will be more obvious if are typically diligent about paying them on time.

3. Behavior or Personality Changes

The mood and personalities of people exhibiting signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s can change. Do you get upset easily, or feel depressed or anxious? While it’s normal for people to battle depression or experience frustration at times, changes in a person’s basic disposition or temperament aren’t normal and may be cause for greater concern.

Perhaps you or your loved one is exhibiting unusual behavior? Are you more prone to wandering, wearing clothes that don’t suit you or your environment, or engaging in “unsafe” behaviors?

4. Trouble Communicating

Are you having trouble following or joining a conversation? Perhaps you have stopped in the middle of an ongoing dialogue with someone, and have no idea how to continue, or you repeat yourself. Do you struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word, or call things by the wrong name?

5. Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps

Everyone misplaces things from time to time, but can you retrace your steps to find them again? Do you put things in unusual places, like placing your wallet in the refrigerator? Do you accuse people of taking things that you later find you misplaced?

6. Decreased or Poor Judgement

Many people with Alzheimer’s disease may experience changes in judgement or decision making. You may even find yourself doing things that are very out-of-character and atypical of your personality. Are you using poor judgement when dealing with money? Giving large amounts to telemarketers or others? What’s more, you may be paying less attention to grooming or keeping your home tidy.

7. Withdrawal from Work or Social Activities

A person with signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects, or sports. You may even have trouble keeping up with your favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. You also may avoid being social because of the changes you’ve experienced.

If you notice any of these warning signs in yourself or someone you know and love, don’t ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor. With early detection, you can explore treatments that may provide some relief of symptoms and help you maintain a level of independence.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center has a secured certified memory care unit for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s and our dedicated staff understands the challenges you face when dealing with these memory-related diseases.

Alzheimer’s disease progression can be slow, but the impact it has on families can be difficult to process. The most important aspect behind this emotionally-painful disease is that you are not alone. Rely on Elmhurst Extended Care Center to be your support and resource center.

For additional guidance and information for those facing Alzheimer’s and dementia, check out our regular Family Support Groups. Contact our facility today to find out when the next group will be held.

July 2018 Newsletter

Join us for our Alzheimer’s and dementia Family Support Group on July 31st at 4pm! For all the wonderful events and activities happening this month at Elmhurst Extended Care Center, check out our latest newsletter. And it might not be until September, but the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk will be taking place before you know it. If you’d like to join us in the walk, please speak with Cindy in Activities!

elmhurst extended care center newsletter

5 Foods that Lower High Blood Pressure

lower high blood pressure

If you struggle with high blood pressure, it can often times feel like you’re climbing an uphill battle and getting nowhere.

Avoiding caffeine and foods that are low in sodium are par for the course when you have high blood pressure, but what about foods that may actually be able to help lower it?

We’ve put together a list of 5 foods that combat high blood pressure. Rather than telling you what you should avoid, we’re here to give you some options of things you can start incorporating into your daily diet right now that are known for their ability in assisting to lower high blood pressure.

Leafy Greens

You knew this was coming, right? Leafy greens tend to make every healthy food options list and for good reason. They’re chock full of powerful vitamins and minerals.

In the case of using leafy greens to lower high blood pressure, focus on eating the ones that are high in potassium because it will assist your kidneys in getting rid of more sodium through your urine and consequently, lowering your high blood pressure.

Romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, and collard greens are great sources of potassium in leafy greens.

Not a fan of the green stuff? Throw it in a blender with your favorite fruits, some nut milk, and a bit of ice to make a delicious, heart-healthy smoothie. With a taste that good, your mouth will never even know you’re getting in your greens!

Blueberries

Blueberries made our list of 7 Immune Boosting Foods for Seniors, and the powerful punch these little guys have doesn’t stop there.

Blueberries are helpful in lowering high blood pressure because they’re loaded with flavonoids – a natural compound known for preventing hypertension as well as lowering it once you’re already there.

Chocolate

No, it’s not a trick. Chocolate has actually made our list for 5 foods that lower high blood pressure, dark chocolate to be exact.

Studies show that consuming dark chocolate can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. Plus, eating chocolate tends to make people happy, and the happier you are, the better chance you have to prevent hypertension.

Just consume dark chocolate with care. Like with anything in life, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

Pomegranates

These beautiful and juicy fruits can have fast effects in lowering your high blood pressure. Not only are they quite capable in fighting hypertension, they can decrease the plaque build up in your arteries, improve your cholesterol, and reduce your risk of heart disease.

You can enjoy adding pomegranates to your diet by eating the fruit raw or drinking it in the form of juice. If you choose to go the drinking route, just make sure to watch for sugar content. Store-bought fruit juice can contain quite a lot more sugar, which may increase your health risks elsewhere.

Oatmeal

Adding whole-grain foods to your diet is a great avenue for lowering high blood pressure. Whole-grain foods offer valuable nutrients like fiber, magnesium, folate, and iron as well as potassium, which aids in reducing the sodium content in your body.

Not only is oatmeal stacked with these nutrients, but it’s also a perfect way to jump start your day with fuel from a high-fiber and low-fat source.

Make your morning routine a breeze and your oatmeal preparation fast and easy with this no-cook recipe for overnight oats. Exchange those chocolate chips for dark chocolate chips, and you’ve just amplified your breakfast bowl power.

Pssst….those bananas in your oats? They’re good for lowering high blood pressure, too!

When you realize that there are real and viable ways to help reduce your high blood pressure right at your fingertips, it can make climbing that uphill battle seem more like a walk to the park.

For more ways you can help lower high blood pressure, give the expert staff at Elmhurst Extended Care Center a call! Our highly-trained and experienced dietitians are skilled in powerful food knowledge for heart health.

Bonus tip: try substituting your canned veggies for frozen ones. Canned vegetables have added sodium while frozen are just like getting them straight from the earth, they’re just a tad colder.

June 2018 Newsletter

It’s Backyard Games Month at Elmhurst Extended Care Center! Don’t forget to wear your favorite Hawaiian shirt or sports apparel every Friday.

We have so much going on during the month of June. Join us for our Father’s Day social on the 17th and our Healthy Eating Family Education event on the 30th. For even more opportunities of fun and learning happening this month at EECC, check out our latest newsletter below:

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The Difference a Family-Owned Facility Provides in Skilled Nursing Healthcare

skilled nursing

When the time arises that you’re focused on mental images of nursing homes and the negative connotations that can sometimes accompany those thoughts, you may feel like you’re admitting and recognizing that either you or a family member is getting older, and their needs have changed.

What’s more, you’d love to find a facility where the focus is not so much on “group care,” but rather on aiming to offer a superior, individualized quality of life approach for you or your loved one.

A Family of Caregivers Focused on Your Family

Since 1960, Elmhurst Extended Care Center has solved this dilemma in skilled nursing care by taking a different approach: the “small home,” family-owned model.

Instead of multi-story buildings where residents share rooms along bleak, long corridors – facilities that resemble hospitals at worst and corporate hotel chains at best – we try to create a home-like environment, where your loved one receives the individualized care and attention they deserve.

Our approach is simple … we truly are a family of caregivers focused on you and your family.

A Setting That Feels Like Home

At EECC, our smaller, family-owned model moves away from the hospitalization-like treatment of seniors. Within our facility, we try to recreate the personalized, patient-centric care given to a loved one in a home environment.

The big difference between large, traditional skilled nursing care facilities and smaller, family-owned facilities is the organizational structure. Traditional care facilities are hierarchical, task-centric organizations, where large staffs focus on executing a strict routine of tasks associated with the care of patients.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center is family-owned and run by a small, self-managed team, meaning the residents’ voices are heard and listened to – and our skilled nursing staff can better cater to each of their needs and preferences.

Enjoy More Staff Per Resident

The core attributes families are looking for, no matter what type of out-of-home extended care they are considering, include quality healthcare; staff who are compassionate, friendly and responsive; and security, safety and peace of mind that their family member is taken care of like their own.

EECC excels in these areas, where as larger institutions may fall short. A low ratio of residents to staff means staff members are more likely to notice problems early, when they are small, and help patients get treatment before those problems become serious.

Ability to Meet Specialized Needs In A Small Community Setting

For anyone with specialized needs, whether it’s a doctor-mandated diet, certain lifestyle choices or a cognitive disability such as dementia, EECC can be the ideal choice. Our facility more easily caters to these specific, individualized needs because of our incredible staff-resident ratio and our in-house specialists such as our physical therapists and dietitians.

You and Your Family Always Come First

EECC offers the opportunity for close relationships with the caring staff and other residents. We are not a large corporation with multiple branches and locations, so the setting feels comfortable, inviting, and simply like a natural extension of your home.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center raises the bar for skilled nursing standards and cares for you and your loved ones like they are family.

From excellent, unparalleled healthcare, to a host of amenities such as physical rehabilitation, long-term care, memory care, and respite stays, EECC is deeply committed and connected to you and the communities we serve. We work to meet the physical, emotional, and personal needs of residents in a caring, compassionate environment where families always come first.

To learn more about how Elmhurst Extended Care Center can meet you and your loved ones needs today, call or stop by!

May 2018 Newsletter

National Nursing Home Week is this month! Celebrate with us by joining your loved ones for fun activities at Elmhurst Extended Care Center. It’s also time for Spring Cleaning, so be sure to check out the newsletter for tips on how to help in this area.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center

Occupational Therapy – Getting You Back Better Than Ever

occupational therapy

Many older adults may hear the term occupational therapy and say, “What do I need that for? I don’t have a job.”

Not so fast — Occupational Therapy has become increasingly important to a senior’s vitality and well-being. It’s a complete game changer when it comes to enhancing their well-being and getting them back to feeling better than ever.

Live Strong Again With Occupational Therapy

As you age, you want to be able to maintain both an adequate level of autonomy and the ability to perform activities of daily living on your own.

Occupational therapy exercises for seniors focus on activities that allow you to maintain independence and help you overcome physical, mental or social problems as a result of a disability or aging.

Physical Therapy vs. Occupational Therapy? What’s the difference?

Within your plan of care, your doctor may recommend both physical and occupational therapy. An easy way to remember the difference is that occupational therapy (OT) is about the technical execution of daily activities. It tends to be more focused on improving life skills and involves adaptive tools that lead to a better quality of life.

Physical therapy (PT) typically helps to improve mobility and is more likely to only treat the physical source of the injury: damaged tissues, muscle, and structure.

When a physical therapist treats an older adult with a broken arm, their main goal will be to restore full mobility to the hands and elbow.

But, an occupational therapist will help that person relearn how to eat using utensils and comb their hair.

There’s an obvious synergy between the two therapies, and it’s no wonder they are often presented hand-in-hand.

Overcoming Daily Challenges

Let’s face it … everyday tasks that were once easy and completed with little or no thought, have now become quite challenging. And what’s worse, you feel the need to constantly depend on others for help.

Occupational therapy can help compensate for the hurdles you face each day. From dressing and feeding yourself, to home management or participating in social activities, OT can bring back your sense of confidence and independence.

Preventing Falls

Did you know that one in four older Americans fall every year?

Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65 and over. As we age, most of us lose some coordination, flexibility, and balance — primarily through inactivity, making it easier to fall.

When you or a loved one have experienced a fall, you’ll find just why occupational therapy is so essential. Our OT specialists help seniors with problem-solving strategies so they can stay active.

Modifying Your Home For Better Care

Occupational therapists make your life a lot simpler with convenient devices like built-up eating utensils, semi-automatic cutting boards, and more. Plus, OTs can help you acquire devices like a bathtub bench to make things easier.

The occupational therapists at Elmhurst Extended Care Center truly care about your longevity – even after you’ve left our facility. We’ll help you learn how to optimize your home to promote full participation in all activities of daily life so you can thrive.

Let EECC’s Occupational Therapy Specialists Lead You To A Healthier Life

Our OT specialists are on-staff to assist you or your loved one to gaining more independence, a new lease on life and a healthier outlook.

Even simple occupational therapy exercises done daily can improve function and help you get back to feeling better than ever.

Some of these include:

  • Relaxation Exercises
  • Range-of-Motion Exercises
  • Memory Exercises
  • Fine Motor Activities
  • Functional Strengthening

Wherever you are in your journey, our job is to help you feel the very best. Trust Elmhurst Extended Care Center to provide you with the care you deserve.

Hear how our short term rehabilitation program helped Anne after a fall that broke her hip.

April 2018 Newsletter

Won’t you join us for all the fun we have planned for the month of April? Check out our latest newsletter to learn more about all the great activities we have going on at Elmhurst Extended Care Center this month, including bowling, Craft Club, and more!

Also – interested in finding out your jelly bean personality trait? Read on to learn!

Elmhurst Extended Care Center

Elmhurst Council Approves Expansion for Elmhurst Extended Care Center

Elmhurst Extended Care Center will be expanding their facilities to offer more private rooms and many other benefits.
A rendering of the planned addition to the facility.

Our vision at Elmhurst Extended Care Center has always been to provide the highest quality of care for our residents and their families centered around a home-like environment filled with love, compassion, and a positive outlook for any that stay with us.

In pursuit of continuing and advancing our already high level of care, we purchased land adjacent to our current location and applied to expand our facility to ultimately provide our residents with the accommodations they deserve.

Elmhurst City Council Approves Expansion

The new, two-story, 31,000 square foot building has officially been approved by Elmhurst City Council and will expand our current Lake Street facility onto Fremont Street. The new building will attach directly to our current location.

This new addition to our facility will bring so much more to our current and future residents. Here are just a few ways the expanded Elmhurst Extended Care Facility will benefit those that stay with us:

More Room for Residents

Once the expansion is complete, our facility will be able to fully utilize its 108 bed license. Currently, the facility operates approximately 85 beds to prevent overcrowding.

In an effort to afford more privacy as well as the home-like environment our residents truly appreciate, the enlarged facility will offer 54 private rooms. These private rooms provide the ability to enjoy extra comfort as well as an increased level of patient care.

For those that are paying privately and are looking for ways to save money, we will also have 27 semi-private rooms.

More Variety in Nutrition

Something we are very excited about at Elmhurst Extended Care Center is the coming of cook-to-order option we will be able to offer with the completion of the expansion!

Residents will have the option to place orders for their meals similar to ordering room service at a hotel. This option is another that really drives home the importance we place on having our residents feel like they’re at home.

For any residents that aren’t able to order for themselves, we will still feature a set menu full of balanced, nutritious meals like we do now.

We are excited about expanding our facility! These improvements will amplify our continuous, high level of care, allowing our residents and their families to feel confident in knowing they’ve chosen the best place for themselves and their loved ones.

While a definitive date has not yet been set, Elmhurst Extended Care Center hopes to break ground this fall!